26th SEA Games, Pacquiao-Marquez trilogy on sports limelight-A A +A
By Nars Padilla
Saturday, November 5, 2011
A MYRIAD of international events is being held in many key cities all over the world this month. They are hogging the headlines on television, radio and print media. The more prominent fields of soccer, athletics, basketball, golf and car racing, among others, take center stage.
At this point in time, my interest in sports is focused on the forthcoming 26th Southeast Asian Games to be staged in Indonesia from November 11 to 29 and, of course, the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez trilogy set at the world famous MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on November 12 (November 13 Manila time).
The reason is obvious. Our Filipino athletes and sportsmen are deeply involved in the sports events. They will be out there to prove once again that the Pinoy is also an achiever in the sporting world.
My good friend Tony Candelaria, president of the Wushu Federation of the Philippines-Cordillera chapter, is again all smiles these days. He has excellent reasons behind those smiles.
In my brief talk with him last Thursday, he said the Baguio-based wushu warriors who saw action in the 11th World Wushu Championships in Ankara, Turkey last month will once again represent the country in the prestigious sporting event. This is of course reason to rejoice!
Congratulations to veteran internationalist Edward Folayang, sando world wushu fest silver medalist Marianne Mariano, bronze medalists Mark Eddiva, Benjie Rivera, Rhea Mae Rifani and taulo bronze medalist Daniel Parantac.
Gold medalist Mary Jane Estimar, Jessie Aligaga and Dembert Arcita from Iloilo City will banner the core of warriors.
Tony added that the Philippine team displayed their wares against 600 athletes from 38 countries and tallied a convincing 2-1-3 gold, silver and bronze medals scorecard behind powerhouse China and Iran.
Aside from Parantac in the taulo men’s squad are John Keithly Chan, Eleazer Jacob and Engelbert Addongan. On the distaff side are Kariza Chan, Nathasia Enriquez and Kathleen Sabalburo, all from the city.
Note that majority in the Philippine wushu team are Baguio-based. Suffice to say, our beloved city is still and foremost the breeding place of outstanding sand and taulo martial arts players.
Thanks to Tony and his other sportsmen-mentors, which include Marques Sangiao, presently URCC coach, and sports organizer.
For the past SEA Games, there were athletes in the region who were also with the Philippine boxing, judo, muay thai, and athletics teams. Alice Kate Aparri, I am sure is in the ABAP-SEAG team. Otherwise, we will have to get word from UB’s athletic director Ed Laureano if we have other local players from the university in the national contingent.
Laureano, presently, is out of town on official business. I will surely see him when he gets back. Meanwhile, there are 44 events in the SEA Games with 11 countries seeking fame and glory. Thailand is the defending overall champion.
Almost everybody is predicting a knockout win by Manny Pacquiao, WBO welterweight titlist who is staking his golden crown against challenger Juan Manuel Marquez, the Mexican boxing icon. Pacquiao’s American coach Freddie Roach and conditioning guru Alex Ariza predicted several days ago that the Mexican will be out in at least three rounds.
On the other hand, our national boxing hero refused to give his prediction. “We have studied new techniques and strategies. Still I cannot say if it’s going to be a KO,” said the pambansang kamao. He is very cautious and knows too well that Marquez is a seasoned slugger, a dazzling counter puncher. Pacquiao in the latest survey by boxing experts is still the pre-fight favorite.
Consider that Marquez is 38 years old while our Pinoy superstar is 32, six years younger. Youth and age are in the centerfold for consideration. I believe Pacman has an edge on this score. The agility and dexterity plus the strength and stamina of Pacquiao on the 144 catch weight are a great advantage for the title holder. Age seems to have slowed down Marquez as seen in his last encounter.
Sportsman Bob Arum of Top Rank, the main promoter of the blockbuster Pacquiao-Marquez III would not like to predict a knockout by either of the protagonist. He knows too well that both ring gladiators have the boxing savvy to protect their valued prizefighting records. In my book, Manny will still win the 12-round slugfest to once and for all prove that he is the better man against Marquez, the unbeliever.
Early last week at his office at City Hall Rep. Bernardo Vergara made true his pledge to support the BARP Foundation. In a simple yet heartwarming ceremony he presented a check amounting to P500,000 to BARP-CEO Prof. Federico Balanag for the foundation’s livelihood programs. Vergara said the funds came from his priority development fund. The presentation rites were witnessed by Isabel Nillas, asst. regional director and Brenda Consolacion, head of the livelihood unit of DSWD-CAR, respectively, and BARP’s trustees Tolentino Opiniano and yours truly.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on November 05, 2011.